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Invisible & causing friction

(7 Posts)
invisible1 Sat 01-Apr-17 19:26:33

Hi! I'm brand new here and this is my first post so I'm sorry if I don't use all of the abbreviations!

I'm posting here as I would like some advice from people who aren't just going to say "I told you so" or "that's just what it's like".

I have been with my partner for almost 3 years. We do not have children together but he has a 4 year old from his previous marriage and a 13 year old who isn't his but he raised him with his ex so he is his daddy in the boy's eyes. We are not married or engaged but we do live together and have had lengthy discussions about getting married and starting a family of our own. Not that it probably matters but I'm 30.

He has a good working relationship with his ex. We have the boys every other weekend from Friday to Sunday and always try to make it as fun as possible while at the same time getting all the boring chores done (we're both teachers and work very long hours so only have the weekends to sort ourselves out!) She is currently pregnant with her new partner.

I have always had a really good relationship with the children. I was introduced to them in a really good way and we have always got on. The boys are both really well behaved and until now, I genuinely couldn't have asked for ask for better children to be involved with. The youngest one has always been very attached to his dad, which I can understand as he only gets to see him every few weeks. I've always been involved though, and felt like I have been wanted.

Recently, however, the youngest one has just started ignoring me. Literally pretending like I am not there. He doesn't react when I speak to him, he always wants to hold his dad's hand and if he is carrying something I'll offer my hand and he'll always say no. I'll offer to put his shoes on and he'll ignore me and ask his dad. All little things like that. I know I'm the adult here, I know I should just keep trying but I'm tired of trying. And it's causing friction between me and my OH and I don't know what to do.

Has anyone else had any experience of this? Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

wheresthel1ght Sat 01-Apr-17 22:14:27

Honestly it is completely normal age appropriate behaviour - try not to over think it too much.

I have a 3 year old daughter (as well as 13 year old step son and an 11 year old step daughter) and she goes through phases where she doesn't know me and I am her mum and phases where she doesn't want to know her Dad and we are together. It is purely a developmental thing and absolutely nothing to do with you!

The only way we have found to deal with it is to simply ignore it. Don't take it to heart, don't let it become an issue between you and your partner or it will take on a life of its own and become way more than it really is.

wheresthel1ght Sat 01-Apr-17 22:14:27

Honestly it is completely normal age appropriate behaviour - try not to over think it too much.

I have a 3 year old daughter (as well as 13 year old step son and an 11 year old step daughter) and she goes through phases where she doesn't know me and I am her mum and phases where she doesn't want to know her Dad and we are together. It is purely a developmental thing and absolutely nothing to do with you!

The only way we have found to deal with it is to simply ignore it. Don't take it to heart, don't let it become an issue between you and your partner or it will take on a life of its own and become way more than it really is.

FeedMeAndTellMeImPretty Sat 01-Apr-17 23:13:56

Sounds like his mum's pregnancy has kicked off some insecurities. I'd give him some space, let him know you still care about him but make sure he gets time with his dad one to one.

Things like his shoes, just talk to him and say I'll get your dad to put your shoes on if you need some help etc. so you're not ignoring him but you're acknowledging that he wants his dad to do the personal things for him.

His dad needs to reassure him that there are no big changes going on with you too so that he can feel stable. I know it seems unfair, but would you consider putting off your plans for a family for a while until things settle?

FeedMeAndTellMeImPretty Sat 01-Apr-17 23:18:49

My DP's daughter is like this and she's 8. Have known her 4/5 years but she still ignores me sometimes and obviously wants her dad to do things for her not me. I just keep it breezy, say things that don't necessarily need an answer, so that I don't get offended if she ignores me and don't expect much from her. It must be hard having to share her dad with me and my children (he stays with us when he doesn't have his children half the time) so I just try and leave them to it and get on with other things.

My children are the same and they are older, they will say "whenever he is here you spend your time talking to him and not us" because they're so used to being the centre of everything the rest of the time. In a normal nuclear family the parents would be able to interact, sit together, talk to each other without interruptions etc but with a step situation you end up having to be very aware of the insecurities and jealousies and trying not to upset anyone.

Goldmandra Sat 01-Apr-17 23:23:39

The best thing you can do is go with it and make as little fuss as possible. The more you give him to push against, the harder he will push. Positively encourage him to do more of what he is doing. Don't offer your hand or your help so he doesn't have to reject it.

Stop trying and back off completely. Let him come to you when he is ready.

Don't react negatively, even subtly. Keep talking to him but don't say things that require answers. Keep smiling at him and being kind. Suggest that his dad puts his shoes on instead of offering to do it yourself.

Let him see that you aren't ever going to get between him and his dad. The sooner he feels reassured that you aren't a threat and you aren't going to try to pull them apart, the sooner he will be able to accept you again.

I know it's frustrating and it feels rude and unreasonable but this little one has a lot to feel insecure about. He needs you to do everything you can to support him getting every bit of security he can out of his relationship with his Daddy. I'm sure that he will welcome you back into his world soon if he feels supported by you even when he is rejecting you.

Bluebell9 Mon 03-Apr-17 13:04:19

My DSS (6) did this for a while, he only wanted his Dad and I think it was down to feeling insecure as DP had just moved into my house. DP had been living at his parents since splitting up with his ExW which the kids were ok with. They got to know me slowly and ExW and DP sat down with the DCs and explaining that DP was moving into my house, DSS was unsettled.
DP made sure he spent time alone with him and let DSS know that if he wanted to talk, he would always listen. He finally opened up that he wanted DP to move back in with him and his Mum and sister rather than with me. DP explained why that wouldn't happen but that DSS would always have a home with us too, that it didn't change how much he loved him etc. Slowly he came round and now it's me that gets cuddles on the sofa rather than DP!

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